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Tunisia president reaffirms Libya neutrality in Macron call

AFP , Friday 5 Jun 2020
Kais Saied
Tunisian President Kais Saied (File photo: Reuters)
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President Kais Saied on Friday reaffirmed Tunisia's neutrality in neighbouring Libya's conflict during a telephone call with his French counterpart, the presidency said.

"Tunisia, which is committed to its sovereignty as well as the sovereignty of Libya, will never be a rear base for any party" to the conflict, Saied told President Emmanuel Macron, his office said.

Libya's UN-recognised government, heavily backed by Turkey, on Friday announced it had taken the town of Tarhuna from the Libyan National Army strongman Khalifa Haftar.

On Thursday, a stormy session of Tunisia's parliament saw the speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, accused of pursuing a parallel foreign policy that backed Turkey.

Libyan leaders in late May revealed a telephone conversation between Ghannouchi and the head of Libya's Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, in which the former congratulated the latter on a recent military success.

Ghannouchi pledged at the end of the parliamentary session to review his positions so to avoid any duality over Tunisia's foreign policy, which is officially a presidential domain.

The French presidency said Saied and Macron also discussed policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

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